Mergold Attends MacDowell Colony Residency Program
Assistant professor of architecture Aleksandr Mergold was selected for a competitive residency at the MacDowell Colony that he attended this January. Officially founded in 1907, MacDowell was the first artist's residency program to be established in the U.S. in order to "nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination." Residencies at the 450-acre colony are offered to outstanding artists, writers, and architects who stay at the remote New Hampshire estate for the purposes of connecting with other residents and dedicating their energy to creative production.
"MacDowell is certainly a gift. The time I spent there was instrumental in gaining some momentum while reassessing a decade of work and figuring out what it amounts to for me," commented Mergold. "Probably the most important thing was spending the first two days in my studio, alone in the snow, figuring out where to start. It was a significant time of reflection for me at this point in my career and ultimately generated a wave of energy that carried me to the end of my residency."
Currently, Mergold is working on a book-length manuscript; plans for an exhibition with his architecture office, A+M, that will take place in Detroit later this year; and a series of drawings titled Moonscape that reimagines a landfill as both a land art park and sound barrier for an airport. While in residence, Mergold was able to make significant progress on his own projects and spoke to a number of other residents about their work and creative processes.
"The community at MacDowell was really interesting for me," Mergold added. "I was the only architect in residence at the time and I met playwrights, poets, writers, translators, composers, and artists — the conversations alone may have been worth the trek to the woods of New Hampshire."
By Edith Fikes